By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Making reference to its motto when it comes to crisis management, Malacañang assured the public that the government is “Laging Handa” whenever a typhoon hits the country.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after Typhoon Ambo ravaged Luzon and left at least one dead in Quezon after initially making landfall in Eastern Samar.
In an interview over state-run PTV, Roque said the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has been in close coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to address the needs of those in areas hit by the typhoon.
“Laging handa naman tayo sa ganitong mga sakuna at laging handa tayo lalung-lalo na sa mga bagyo dahil napakaraming bagyo po talaga ang bumibisita sa ating bayan taun-taon (We’re always prepared for calamities, especially for typhoons because a lot of them enter the country every year),” he said.
“Bago pa man dumating ang bagyo andyan naman po naka-pre-position na ang ating mga relief goods, nakahanda na po ang mga evacuation centers natin (Before a typhoon even enters the country the relief goods and evacuation centers are all ready).”
Meanwhile, Roque said physical distancing was properly implemented in the evacuation centers. Physical distancing has been part of the new normal to combat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“Ang report naman sa amin ay napatupad naman po ang social distancing on a family basis dito sa mga evacuation centers (It was reported to us that physical distancing on a family basis was implemented at evacuation centers),” he said.
Roque earlier said that physical distancing would be implemented on a “per-family basis” at evacuation centers in areas where Typhoon Ambo was expected to hit.
Health undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire had said that physical distancing should still be observed even in evacuation centers to halt the spread of COVID-19.
State weather bureau PAGASA reported that Typhoon Ambo made landfall over San Policarpio, Eastern Samar at 12:15 p.m. Thursday with maximum sustained winds of 150 kph with 185 kph gust.